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Do you know your Dirty Dozen from your Clean 15?

The dirty dozen and clean fifteen list is published every spring by the Environmental Workers Group (EWG). This list consists of the top 12 crops that have been grown with heavy use of pesticides and the clean 15 are the recommended fruits and vegetables with least concentrations of pesticides in them.

The EWG recommends buying organic wherever possible, but provides us with this comprehensive list so we can make the best decisions when purchasing our produce. The importance of the EWG’s yearly study is they take into account what pesticides remain on or in the produce after being washed, the same way we would prepare fruits or vegetables in our homes. As a non-profit organisation, EWG are providing us with some of the most valuable information for our health. Their mission is to empower us for healthier lifestyles and promote a healthier environment by working with communities and building relationships to drive change.

What’s on the lists this year?

The 2020 Dirty Dozen

● Strawberries

● Spinach

● Kale

● Nectarines

● Apples

● Grapes

● Peaches

● Cherries

● Pears

● Tomatoes

● Celery

● Potatoes

Strawberries remain on the list for the fifth year in a row with Kale being a newcomer last year after a decade of remaining off the list. This gives us an insight into the most likely produce to contain pesticides, even after washing and peeling. Avoiding these fruits and veggies, unless home grown or organic, is a way to prevent our families from consuming things that might be harmful to them.


The 2020 Clean 15

● Avocados

● Sweet corn

● Pineapple

● Onions

● Papaya

● Sweet peas (frozen)

● Eggplant

● Asparagus

● Cauliflower

● Cantaloupe

● Broccoli

● Mushrooms

● Cabbage

● Honeydew melon

● Kiwi


The same list as last year, just in a different order! These fifteen are the cleanest fruits and veggies around the world that have been tested. They have the least amount of pesticide residue after being washed and peeled. The security in this for the second year running means if you’ve been sticking to this list, keep doing so! But, what if you’re reading this and you’ve been purchasing off the dirty dozen list? Don’t worry, we all have to start somewhere! If you’re reading this with a fridge full of produce it’s recommended that you don’t throw it all away. The dirty dozen list is here to help us make better buying decisions but doesn’t invite us to start creating waste by unnecessarily throwing away fresh produce. If you head to EWG’s website, you’ll find the FULL LIST. The first on the list has the highest amount of pesticide residue and therefore if you do compost any of your recently purchased produce this is where to start.

The EWG is making it easier for us to make healthier choices for our bodies as well as our pockets. Keep an eye on the clean fifteen list to ensure you're not only looking after your family, but supporting the farmers and businesses who are using environmentally friendly practices. To make a difference in the production of food we have to show united support for healthier options and we can do this just by making small changes to our weekly shop. 

wastelessmarket.co.uk